Richard Madley, who was the auctioneer in Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions for 11 years, has revealed how he feels that the bidding war for MS Dhoni in 2008 kick-started the start of something special. The former Indian skipper was snapped up for $1,500,000 by CSK in the first-ever auction.
A name, a voice and a personality that every cricket fan has grown to love over the course of the last decade is Richard Madley, who was the auctioneer for the first 11 seasons of the Indian Premier League. Having auctioned over 2,000 players since the inception of the tournament way back in 2008, Madley has kind of made a special name for himself in the cricketing fraternity, so much so that he still goes by “@iplauctioneer” on Twitter.
The Welshman, who after 11 seasons was relieved of his duties by the BCCI last year, has now revealed how he felt the bidding war for MS Dhoni in the first-ever auction, back in 2008, was a game-changer for the IPL and subsequently the sport of cricket. The then-Indian captain, who had a base price of $400,000, instantly attracted a huge bidding war and was eventually snapped by Chennai Super Kings for a staggering amount of $1,500,000 (₹6 crore).
"There is one player who stands out to me. Probably my favorite all-rounder at that time - Mahendra Singh Dhoni. MS Dhoni came out of the bag and he had a base price of 400,000. So I opened the bidding and I asked that opening bid of $400,000 and soon it went to $420,000, $450,000, $480,000, $500,000 and I was like 'Oh here we've got an auction going now',” Madley revealed in ESPNCricinfo’s Stump Mic podcast.
“And finally at $1,500,000 MS Dhoni was sold to the Chennai Super Kings. And I think it was when the hammer fell on MS Dhoni that I knew that we had an auction going. After that, it was quite extraordinary," he said.
Madley also went on to reveal how the then-Rajasthan Royals skipper Shane Warne, who was incidentally the first ever player to be auctioned in IPL history, was snapped up by the “Jaipur” franchise for his base price of $450,000, with the Australian attracting no bids from any other franchise.
“The first player to be drawn out of the bag was Shane Warne. His base price was $450,000. Up went the “Jaipur” paddle. He was sold at this base price and there was no competition for him.”
The auction for the 2020 edition of the tournament will be held in Kolkata on December 19.
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